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Airlines Cancel 2,000 US Flights For Thursday

By Dave Simpson

Airlines cancelled almost 2,000 US flights for Thursday 29 September after Hurricane Ian hit Florida's Gulf Coast with catastrophic force in one of most powerful US storms in recent years.

Details

The hurricane is causing significant disruptions to US air travel, especially in the southeast United States. Since Tuesday September 27 airlines have canceled more than 5,000 flights through Friday September 30.

Airlines cancelled 2,163 flights Wednesday 28 September as a number of Florida airports temporarily halted operations, including Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota-Bradenton, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Naples and St Petersburg/Clearwater.

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Airline tracking website Flightaware said 1,935 flights for Thursday 29 September had been cancelled and 738 Friday 30 September flights scrapped. Airlines canceled 403 flights Tuesday 27 September ahead of the storm.

The Orlando airport said it expects to resume commercial operations sometime on Friday 30 September. The Tampa airport said it will be closed through at least Thursday 29 September.

Walt Disney said on Tuesday 27 September it would close its Orlando theme parks on Wednesday 28 September and Thursday 19 September.

Florida is a major part of US aviation, and some carriers like JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines typically expect 40% or more of their daily flights to touch a Florida airport.

Through Wednesday 28 September, JetBlue cancelled 25% of its US flights and 20% of Thursday 29 September flights, while Southwest cancelled 13% of Wednesday 28 September flights and 9% for Thursday 29 September. Another 3,106 US flights were delayed on Wednesday 28 September.

Waivers

Airlines offered waivers for travellers impacted by the hurricane to rebook tickets without charge.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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